Gay Marriage and HIV Increase?

Gay Marriage and HIV Increase?

by Javier Betancourt

On February 16th 2013, a series of articles were published in the British media regarding the findings of a study conducted by the Health Protection Agency and the University College London on HIV, that mentions among their conclusions an increase in HIV among homosexual men caused by a fall in condom use.  The research paper in question was published in February 15th, 2013, and used data from 1990-2010 to demonstrate trends shown in the HIV in the United Kingdom Report 2012. This research came into light after the House of Commons approved the Marriage Bill on February 5th, and is currently on the Committee Stage .

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The Curse and Misconceptions of Democracy

The Curse and Misconceptions of Democracy

by Javier Betancourt

What is Democracy? A question that seems rather rhetorical in the beginning has caused a lot of controversies and sparkled discussion over the years.

Democracy is a common word in daily speech and the fact that its meaning is different for each one of us should come as a surprise.

Many people tend to give the same answer: democracy is the right to vote. Others may answer that democracy is the right to choose our governors. While this is part of democracy, it is not democracy in itself. Some other people tend to recite Greek etymologies “demos”=people, “kratos”=power, so it is the “power of the people”; others say that “Democracy is freedom”.

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An act of provocation? The “Innocence of Muslims” Film, and Its Political Consequences

An act of provocation? The “Innocence of Muslims” Film, and Its Political Consequences

by Javier Betancourt and Marianna Karakoulaki

Palestinians burn a U.S. flag during a protest against the movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” near the United Nations office in Gaza City, Wednesday.
Source: New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/innocence-muslims-trailer-sparked-deadly-riots-libya-amp-egypt-inept-hateful-article-1.1157860#ixzz26Sp7MxAc

The low budget movie “Innocence of Muslims” has caused a major stir around the Islamic world. This low budget film presents half truths about prophet Mohamed in order to depict him as a paedophile, homosexual, criminal, and a murderous madman. However, a very interesting story is behind the production, which has sparkled violent protests around the Islamic world. The first issue that needs to be taken into consideration is the coincidence of this movie getting worldwide recognition at the 11th anniversary of the 09/11 terrorist attacks in the USA, despite the fact that the “movie” was released in July 2012[1]. Was it the filmmaker’s desire to cause a reaction of that extent? In order to understand the rationale behind the filmmaker’s rationale, we will examine two different issues, the relation of the director’s true identity to the release of the film in the first place, while in addition, we will look at the reaction of the USA toward the protests.

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Determination of Age for Legal Purposes, Immigration and Travel:The Ethical Use of X-ray Imaging

Determination of Age for Legal Purposes, Immigration and Travel:The Ethical Use of X-ray Imaging

by Javier Betancourt

Source: Government of Chiapas, via European Pressphoto Agency. (no copyrights violation intended)

This article introduces the reader to the debate on the ethical use of X-ray imaging by the authorities in various situations. I hope that the reader will be able to think, analyse and criticise the current situation about the politics surrounding x-rays, that everyone has been subjected at some point of their lives.

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The Emotional Aspects Faced by Different Stakeholders in Mass Fatality Incidents: The Case of Terrorist Acts

The Emotional Aspects Faced by Different Stakeholders in Mass Fatality Incidents: The Case of Terrorist Acts

By Javier Betancourt

Mass fatality incidents are tragedies that humans have been coping with since the dawn of times. Some of these incidents are unavoidable natural events such as earthquakes, floods and fires, while others can be classified as accidents avoidable or not; however, a third category has emerged, that is, the acts of terrorism. This article seeks to analyze the emotional aspects faced by different stakeholders in this category.

The challenges that must be addressed during the management of a mass fatality incident are without any doubt multiple and complex. Even with the preparation of a Mass Fatality Incident (MFI) plan, some issues will arise, issues that the responsible agency or authorities do not expect, since every incident is unique due to the chain of variables involved in the situation. However, in a broader sense the psychological stress suffered not only by the persons affected but by the responders as well, is an area that can be planned in advance and modified so it will suit to a given incident. Continue reading